Facility Design Project of the Month

Each month, FE&S spotlights a project worth talking about, with in-depth coverage from concept through completion including a kitchen equipment floor plan.


University of Missouri’s Retail Approach to Dining

The Restaurants at Southwest offers students six restaurants with a la carte service, all in a cashless operation.

The University of Missouri's new dining facility — The Restaurants at Southwest — represents the last phase of the school's Residential Life master plan. As its name implies, The Restaurants at Southwest, which replaces Pavilion at Dobbs, resides on the southwest campus.

IMG 0271-Dining

The Mizzou dining facility serves as the social hub of the Southwest Neighborhood, anchoring the main pedestrian walkway to the academic campus. Its capacity can accommodate customers from two new and three existing residence halls (and up to three more in the future). The Restaurants at Southwest also sits near Greek Town, the area of campus that houses fraternities and sororities, to attract those customers. Athletic facilities are also nearby.

"We wanted to create a boulevard feel to bring visibility to The Restaurants at Southwest, Starbucks Southwest and the existing Mizzou Market–Southwest, which is the existing convenience store in an adjacent residence hall," says Julaine Kiehn, RD, director of Campus Dining.

The facility can handle student populations of 2,500 to 3,000 who live in up to eight residence halls and nearby fraternities and sororities, so it fulfills another objective: providing the greatest return on investment. Other department operations and the campus overall benefit from the dining facility update, and the operation now matches the design aesthetic of the adjacent residence halls.

"Because this is a new building, we could start from scratch," Kiehn says. "The placement and configuration of the building itself provided the first set of parameters. And, because it is a shared building with the residence hall and Starbucks Southwest, we needed to make sure the design functioned well for all stakeholders."

Missouri-Dobbs-Dining-starbucks-muralRight: Adjacent to the dining facility, Starbucks Southwest features a unique wall painting of the MU tiger among coffee beans. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kirschner Photography

"We worked with the team to integrate residence hall security and main-level functions such as entries, offices and support areas with dining space, entry access and circulation requirements," says Terry Pellegrino, principal, Rippe Associates of Minneapolis, foodservice designers on the project.

A la Carte Options

The a la carte menu options at The Restaurants at Southwest represent a significant departure from the all-you-care-to-eat dining previously available.

The cashless facility features a collection of six independent restaurants, each with its own distinct brand identity: Legacy Grill, 1839 Kitchen, Olive & Oil, Tiger Avenue Deli, Truffles, and 1+5+3 Salads and Soups. Each offers a la carte service and honors student dining plans. Starbucks Southwest, a licensed Starbucks operation, sits next door. "The restaurants share back-of-the-house support, which required careful planning and clarification of the vision of each restaurant, along with its menu," Kiehn says.

Missouri-Dobbs-Dining-hot-prep-kitchenThe hot prep kitchen contains refrigerators and convection ovens. The two rotisserie ovens on the far back wall open out into the home-cooking station, 1839 Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kirschner Photography

A main objective for this new dining operation was to provide enough flexibility to meet future customer needs and become more timeless in design. For example, Legacy Grill features sliding decorative screens that allow the restaurant to remain open late at night, after the rest of the dining facility shuts down. "Decorative glass inlaid with metal streamers and a playful arrangement of lights add to Legacy Grill's animated and vibrant feel," says Sara L. Koester, AIA, principal at KWK Architects in St. Louis.

Food deliveries come into an enclosed dock area with space for staging. Campus Dining Services shares the receiving area with Residential Life. Sliding doors allow staff to move pallets of food directly into a walk-in produce refrigerator, which supports 1+5+3 Salads and Soups, Tiger Avenue Deli and the kitchen preparation area. A walk-in freezer, also with sliding doors, sits adjacent to the refrigerator. "Walk-in doors on the food preparation side allow staff members to have easy access to food in the refrigerator and freezer," Pellegrino says.

The cold prep area contains tables, a meat slicer and food processors. Hot prep equipment includes two double-stacked convection ovens to bake menu items for several restaurants. Staff use a grill in Olive & Oil to score chicken breasts and finish cooking them in these ovens. Staff return the chicken breasts to Olive & Oil for service. "This is how we can keep up with demand," says Eric Cartwright, executive chef.

The hot prep area also contains steam-jacketed kettles and two four-burner ranges for preparing soups, sauces and green beans. A pasta cooker prepares various types of pasta offered at Olive & Oil. A blast chiller cools batch-cooked soups and sauces.

Front-of-the-House Production and Service

Each branded restaurant functions independently and features its own a la carte cashier station. "An all-you-care-to-eat checker stand can be located at the entrance and exits," Pellegrino says. "These aren't used during the regular school year, but they are used for summer camps and conferences. In the unlikely event students decide they don't want a la carte service, the stations make it possible to switch the entire program to all-you-care-to-eat." Storage areas sit close to each restaurant. A separate walk-in refrigerator supports Legacy Grill, and another supports Olive & Oil, 1839 Kitchen and Truffles.

Food flows to the restaurants where staff finish and plate it for service. Customers may dine in or request takeout packaging.

Missouri-Dobbs-Dining-legacy-grillAt Legacy Grill, the grill, charbroilers, salamanders and refrigerated tables sit on one side, and the fryers sit on the opposite side with an island table in the middle. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kirschner Photography"Legacy Grill's layout and setup are uniquely designed for high-volume output," Cartwright says. "The grill, charbroilers, salamanders and refrigerated tables are on one side, and the fryers are on the opposite side with an island table in the middle. Rather than one long hood and a long aisle that staff must wear roller skates to move along, this allows staff to pass entrees and sides to the middle table where they are held for just a second under a heat lamp before they are given to the customers."

Staff prepare quesadillas and veggie burgers on the flattop griddles, and burgers and chicken breasts on the charbroilers. "In total, the burgers and chicken breasts require eight to nine minutes of cooking," Cartwright says. "When we have 50 people in line, we have to be able to turn these out quickly while preserving the quality. We cook the burgers and chicken breasts in batches of 15, hold them for just a few moments, then place them back on the grill right before they are given to customers." An overhead salamander heats nachos, and the four deep-fat fryers produce fries.

Tiger Avenue Deli features richly colored metal and dark-colored tiles, giving this station an urban aesthetic. A printer transmits the orders to the prep area for Philly-style and other sandwiches. Large flattop grills sit along the back wall. Culinary staff grill vegetables before combining them with meats and cheese for sandwiches.

The home-cooking station, named 1839 Kitchen after the year the university was founded, features a traditional domestic appearance with raised wood cabinets, copper accents and marble-style counters. Showcasing home-style cooking, this restaurant contains two pressure fryers that cook protein-based entrees. Customers see the meals displayed in pans recessed into the counter. Two rotisserie ovens provide eatertainment as they roast up to 24 chickens at once. Staff load the chickens in the oven from the back of the house while front-of-the-house staff remove the chickens from the rotisserie on that side. "This is the first rotisserie oven we've brought onto campus," Cartwright says. "We've been very pleased by the quality of product we're turning out. Staff have become experts as they've learned to use the oven." A flattop grill enables staff to make eggs and other breakfast menu items.

Missouri-Dobbs-Dining-1839 kitchenCustomers find comfort foods, like rotisserie chicken, at 1839 Kitchen. A display case holds sides, beverages and fruit cups. Photo by Nick Wilson, Campus Dining Services

Missouri-Dobbs-Dining-olive-oilCustomers find comfort foods, like rotisserie chicken, at 1839 Kitchen. A display case holds sides, beverages and fruit cups. Photo by Nick Wilson, Campus Dining ServicesOlive & Oil, a Mediterranean and pasta concept, features hand-painted plaster walls and decorative tiles for an old-world appearance. The menu contains customizable pasta dishes where guests choose the pasta, proteins, vegetables and toppings. "If the noodles need 10 minutes to cook, we parcook them for five minutes in the back of the house," Cartwright says. "We portion them into specific sizes and spread them on sheet pans before refrigerating. At service time, we cook them in the three steamers that are hard-plumbed so we have a direct water line to them. Pasta cooks in 45 seconds using baskets that hold one portion." Staff then place the cooked pasta in bowls and top it with the designated proteins and other ingredients.

Olive & Oil also contains a charbroiler to mark chicken before taking it to the back of the house. Staff also cook
Italian sausage and fish on the charbroiler.

The dessert venue, Truffles, which brings a sense of fun to the bakery restaurant, has a rich palette of glass tiles in golds and purples and chocolate- and-caramel colored walls and ceilings. Customers can see culinary staff preparing and baking cookies, muffins and pastries in a glass-door convection oven. Staff also make smoothies in two blenders. A large toaster heats bagels. Display cases hold ambient pastries, while the refrigerated side contains yogurt, beverages and fresh fruit cups. This station serves only drip coffee. Customers can access other coffee drinks via the nearby Starbucks.

Missouri-Dobbs-Dining-TrufflesTruffles brings a sense of fun to the bakery area as customers watch culinary staff prepare and bake cookies, muffins and pastries. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kirschner Photography

At 1+5+3 Salads and Soups, natural bamboo and green tile reflect the focus on fresh salads, made-from-scratch soups and vegan options. The concept encourages customers to combine one leafy green, five veggies and three proteins, though no strict rule governs this combination. Customers can also select a la carte ingredients or order composed salads. The station also features three house-made soups daily. The restaurant also contains a separate undercounter dishwasher to accommodate the side of the serving line that exclusively uses allergen-friendly serviceware.

Beverage stations feature coffee, tea, milk, juice and carbonated drinks delivered by a bulk CO2 system.

Food Storage, Warewashing and Sustainability

Accommodating necessary storage within the footprint required all food receiving, storage, preparation, and warewashing to sit on the main level to allow for the best flow of food through its various phases. Seasonal and department storage reside on the lower level, along with the laundry and locker rooms.

Each of the operation's exits has its own trash collection area. The centrally located dish return area sits between
Legacy Grill and Tiger Avenue Deli. "Designing the warewashing was challenging because it had to be in a tight space," Pellegrino says. "Various sections of the dining room can be shut down so it can operate with fewer concepts during summer, holidays and winter and spring breaks as needed. The dish room had to be accessible under those conditions. That's why it is centrally located."

A grinder replaces a traditional pulper in the warewashing area and allows collection of disposable waste. "The grinder pushes the food horizontally through the grind chamber in a screw-type fashion rather than vertically through spinning blades that can chip and wear," Pellegrino says.

"Another one of our biggest challenges was locating the exhaust hoods' exhaust five stories above the dining facility to prevent exhaust from going into the residence hall rooms," Pellegrino says.

Campus Dining Services may add a green roof to The Restaurants at Southwest. The facility contains many
energy-saving features and is also undergoing the LEED certification process.

As Kiehn looks back at the project highlights, she calls attention to the high performance of the project team. "We have been renovating operations and opening new facilities since the early 1990s, and we finally got it right," Kiehn says. "The development process we used for this project worked — and worked very well. It was our best to date." Since opening, traffic counts at The Restaurants at Southwest remain consistently strong. Customer comments are positive. And staff pride has never been higher, which is the strongest definition of success.

Facts of Note

  • Opened: August 2017
  • University of Missouri: 30,870 students enrolled; 29 foodservice operations across campus
  • Scope of Project: New building that includes a residence hall, dining operation (with a kitchen, six restaurants and dining room) and a Starbucks. The Restaurants at Southwest replaced the former Pavilion at Dobbs residential dining facility, which was demolished after opening the new facility in August 2017. The staff at Pavilion at Dobbs transitioned to The Restaurants at Southwest.
  • Timeline: Developed initial vision in May 2012; clarified and refined vision in June 2013; constructed temporary dock with two lifts at Pavilion at Dobbs dock in 2015; provided service at Pavilion at Dobbs through June 30, 2017; moved existing equipment, food inventory, tables and chairs, office furniture, and so on to the new building in July 2017; moved two lifts in July 2017; demolished Pavilion at Dobbs building in September and October 2017.
  • Size: 29,581 sq. ft. (gross)
  • Seats: 581
  • Average Check: $8.75
  • Total Annual Sales: $2 million (estimated)
  • Daily Transactions/Covers: 1,650
  • Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (hours vary by restaurant)
  • Menu Specialties: Legacy Burgers and fresh-cut fries at Legacy Grill; rotisserie chicken and steel-cut oatmeal at 1839 Kitchen; select-your-own pasta at Olive & Oil; sandwiches at Tiger Avenue Deli; select-your-own salads at 1+5+3 Salads and Soups; smoothies, pastries and other desserts at Truffles; coffee and tea drinks and pastries at Starbucks
  • Staff: 1 manager, 4 assistant managers, 24 full-time, 6 part-time and 50 student staff
  • Total Project Cost: $15 million
  • Equipment Investment: $1.9 million
  • Website: www.dining.missouri.edu

Key Players

  • Owner: University of Missouri/Campus Dining Services
  • Director, Campus Dining Services: Julaine Kiehn, RD
  • Associate Director, Campus Dining Services: Nancy Monteer
  • Managers, Campus Dining Services: Tod Fudge (facilities); Magda Mello (manager); Casey Voight Wendleton (interior and graphic design); Mike Wuest (marketing); Clint Eastin (sous chef); Jeff Lee (assistant); Mari-Jean Vance, RD (assistant); Wenbo Zhao, RD (assistant)
  • Executive Chef, Campus Dining Services: Eric Cartwright
  • Architect: KWK Architects, St. Louis; Sara L. Koester, AIA, principal; and Paul Wuennenberg, AIA, LEED AP, principal
  • Interior Design: KWK Architects, Paul Wuennenberg, AIA LEED AP, principal; Lawrence Group; Mary Sue Sutton
  • Foodservice Consultant: Rippe Associates Inc., Minneapolis, Terry Pellegrino, principal; John Dunne, senior project manager; Ashley Klis, project manager
  • Equipment Dealer: Servco Equipment Company, St. Louis
  • General Contractor: River City Construction, Columbia, Mo.

Meet the Players

Eric Cartwright, executive chef, Campus Dining Services, University of Missouri. Cartwright became executive chef in 2006. His primary responsibilities include menu and concept development, product selection and staff training. Previously he worked in university catering and fine dining restaurants.

Juliane KiehnJulaine Kiehn, RD, director, Campus Dining Services, University of Missouri. Kiehn has been the director since September 1993. Her primary responsibilities span all department operations (six residential dining facilities, three convenience stores, eight restaurants/cafes, three coffeehouses and the University Club/University Catering, as well as all support areas).

Nancy monteerNancy Monteer, associate director, Campus Dining Services, University of Missouri. Monteer has been the associate director since 2013 and is responsible for all operations, including residential, retail, convenience stores, university club, and catering. Previously, Monteer was a manager in Campus Dining Services and in healthcare settings.

Magda MelloMagda Mello, manager, The Restaurants at Southwest, Campus Dining Services, University of Missouri. Mello has been a manager with Campus Dining Services since 2003, after her promotion from assistant manager. She is responsible for the operation of the six restaurants at The Restaurants at Southwest and has previous experience in restaurant management and as a nutritionist.

Sara KoesterSara L. Koester, AIA, principal, KWK Architects. Koester is a founding principal at KWK Architects. A versatile architect with 30 years of design and construction experience, her focus has been on student life, managing complex, multiphase projects for universities across the Midwest, including the Dobbs residence hall and dining project at the University of Missouri.

Terry PellegrinoTerry Pellegrino, principal, Rippe Associates. Pellegrino has spent the past 30 years planning commercial kitchens and dining facilities for clients ranging from universities to schools and correctional facilities to corporations. Other projects include the newest student center at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse; University of Iowa's Catlett Hall; and Downs Hall at the University of Kansas.

Paul WuennenbergPaul Wuennenberg, AIA, LEED AP, principal, KWK Architects. With more than 20 years of experience in the design of student housing, Wuennenberg has devoted much of his professional life to designing high-quality student communities. He has a passion for research and development of new concepts in residence hall design.

University of Missouri The Restaurants at Southwest Floorplan

Equipment Key
1. Dry storage shelving
1a. Refrigerator/freezer shelving
1b. Pan storage shelving
1c. Wall shelf
1d. Protector shelf system w/heat lamp
1e. Reach-in blast chiller
1f. Protector shelf system
1g. Detergent shelving
1h. Utility shelf w/mop hanger
1i. Dry storage shelving
2. S/s corner guard
3. Meat and dairy refrigerator
3a. Refrigerated base
3b. Reach-in refrigerator, 2-sec.
3c. Pass-thru refrigerator, 1-sec.
3d. Roll-in freezer, 1-sec.
3e. Reach-in freezer, 2-sec.
3f. Reach-in refrigerator, 2-sec.
3g. Roll-n refrigerator, 2-sec.
3h. Roll-in refrigerator, 1-sec.
3i. Walk-in refrigerator
4. Dunnage rack
4a. Racked refrigeration system
4b. Mobile rack
4c. Knife rack
4d. Bread rack
4e. Fry basket rack
5. Computer station
5a. Carving station
5b. Eye/face wash station
6. Mobile compost bin
6a. Mobile trash bin
6b. Compost bin
6c. Trash bin
6d. Mobile ice bin
7. Utility cart
7a. Mobile tray cart
8. Hand sink
8a. Pot and pan sink
8b. Mobile soak sink
8c. Mop sink
9. Food processor
10. Cold food prep counter w/sinks
10a. Double work counter
10b. Work counter
10c. Work counter w/sink
10d. Olive & Oil counter
10e. Double work counter w/sinks and overshelf
10f. 1839 Kitchen/beverage counter
10g. Cashier counter
10h. Tiger Avenue Deli counter
10i. Legacy Grill/cashier counter
10j. Beverage counter
10k. Truffles counter
10l. Condiment counter
10m. Trash counter
10n. 1+5+3 Salads & Soups counter
11. 20-qt. mixer
11a. Mobile equipment stand
12. Sheet-pan dolly
12a. Mobile dish dolly
12b. Bread dolly
13. Slicer
13a. Mobile equipment stand
14. Spray rinse
15. Disposer
16. Mobile food cutter worktable
16a. Mobile worktable
16b. Refrigerated prep table
16c. Mobile wood top table
16d. Soiled dishtable w/tray return conveyor
16e. Silver sort table w/soak sink
17. Food cutter
18. Exhaust hood
18a. Demand-control ventilation system
19. Charbroiler
20. Mobile warming cabinet
20a. Reach-in warming cabinet, 1-sec.
20b. Pass-thru warming cabinet, 1-sec.
21. Countertop steamer
21a. Steamer, 2-sec.
22. 6-burner step-up range w/stand
22a. 2-burner range w/ spreader and cabinet BA
22b. 4-burner range w/spreader and cabinet BA
23. Drop-in cold pan, 2-well
23a. Hot/cold pan, 4-well
23b. Drop-in cold pan, 3-well
24. Bain marie
25. Cash register
26. Cold beverage cup dispenser
26a. Napkin dispenser
26b. Chilled water dispenser
26c. Condiment dispenser
26d. Topping dispenser
26e. Coffee condiment dispenser
26f. Airpot dispenser
26g. Hot topping dispenser
26h. Soft-serve machine
26i. Cone dispenser
26j. Detergent dispensing system
27. Flatware cylinder
28. Convection oven, 2-sec.
28a. Microwave oven
28b. Cook and hold oven, 1-sec.
28c. Conveyor toaster
28d. Rotisserie oven
28e. Salamander
28f. Convection oven
29. Floor grate and frame
30. 40-gal. tilting fry pan
31. 20-gal. kettle
31a. 10-gal. kettle w/stand
32. 20-qt. mixer
32a. Mobile equipment stand
32b. 8-qt. mixer
33. S/s wall panel
34. Fire protection system
35. Pressure fryer, 2-sec.
35a. Fryer w/filter, 2-sec.
35b. Dump station
36. Grill
37. Soda system carbonator
37a. Soda system
38. Tea brewer
38a. Coffee brewer
39. Ice maker
39a. Ice dispenser w/soda heads
39b. Ice flaker w/bin
39c. Ice maker w/bin
40. Airscreen refrigerated display
40a. Snack/chip display
40b. Countertop display warmer w/ protector
40c. Refrigerated display case
41. Ticket rail
42. Printer
43. Heat lamp
44. Soup well
44a. Countertop soup well
45. POS system
46. Water filtration system
47. Blender
48. Coffee grinder
49. U/c dishmachine
49a. Flight-type dishmachine
50. Hose station
50a. Hose reel
51. Pulper w/waterpress